Community and Incarnation

The community
  of knowing in common
is the seed
  of our life in this place.
There is not only no
better possibility, there is no
other, except for
chaos and darkness, the terrible ground of 
the only possible new start.
     From Wendell Berry, “A Country Funeral“, 1973

“The community of knowing in common is the seed of our life in this place.” Berry suggests here that there is some kind of common knowledge, a community mind or conscience and consciousness (not to be confused with ‘group-think’). As a pastor, and one actively on a spiritual quest into the center of my being, which is God, I hear Berry saying that in relationship with those of my community (congregation, family, neighborhood, city) will be found the touchstones that connect me to my source, that in fact become the seeds or sources of my life. How many of us can tell a story about going off on a journey ‘to find myself’ only to return empty handed and discover that ‘my self was right here, waiting for my return.’
How will I hear God call me into relationship with this community. The more I pray I find peace and freedom to be still, be myself, not answer or add to every conversation, to leave room for others. I imagine that my own desire to be liked has forced behavior so as to create a positive answer to my inner longing, “I wonder if they’ll like me…” When in truth, as I free myself to say, “God loves them. Dear God, teach me to love them as You love them,” there will I find my own wholeness – there will I find the seeds of my life. Right here, right now – not ‘out there’ somewhere.
This is one of the mysteries of Incarnation – in+flesh.

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